The 8.6 Blackout – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

At KIR Ammo, we pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of ammunition advancements and trends. One cartridge that has garnered considerable interest lately is the 8.6 Blackout. Recognizing its potential and the buzz it’s creating among shooting enthusiasts, we’ve received numerous inquiries about its specifications, applications, and performance. To address this, we’ve compiled “The 8.6 Blackout – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers” to provide a comprehensive look at this intriguing cartridge. Whether you’re considering it for your next purchase or simply keen to expand your knowledge, this FAQ is tailored for you.

The 8.6 Blackout, also known as 8.6 BLK or 8.6mm Creedmoor, is the brainchild of the innovative team at Q LLC. Envisioned as the “big brother” to the 300 Blackout, the 8.6 BLK is to the AR-10 platform what the 300BLK has been for the AR-15. With its roots in the 6.5 Creedmoor parent case, the 8.6 BLK cartridge is trimmed and necked up to accommodate a .338 projectile. This caliber ensures a more significant mass and consequently, a more impactful energy transfer upon hitting the target. Complementing this is the fast 1:3 barrel twist, optimizing its terminal ballistics and ensuring a devastating impact. Impressively, despite its larger size relative to the 300BLK, the subsonic ammunition offerings for the 8.6 BLK ensure it remains relatively quiet. This cartridge stands as a bridge between the traditional and the cutting-edge, allowing shooters to experience an unparalleled blend of power and precision.

Cautionary Note: The 8.6 Blackout cartridge is not recognized by S.A.A.M.I. Please exercise utmost care when utilizing this round. Ensure the following: 1.) Your suppressor is designed to accommodate a .338″ diameter bullet and can handle the pressures of both supersonic and subsonic 8.6 Blackout rounds. 2.) Always use these rounds in a firearm that is in good condition and properly maintained.

The 8.6 Blackout FAQ:

1. What is 8.6 Blackout good for?
The 8.6 Blackout is designed for versatile shooting applications, offering a balance of power and precision, making it ideal for both hunting and precision shooting, especially when subsonic ammunition is utilized.

2. Who is making 8.6 Blackout ammo?
Several manufacturers produce 8.6 Blackout ammunition. Though Q LLC was the primary innovator and developer behind the cartridge, other brands are making 8.6 Blackout Ammo.  Fort Scott Ammunition makes a 8.6 Blackout cartridge with TUI.

3. What is the heaviest bullet for the 8.6 Blackout?
The bullet weights for the 8.6 Blackout can vary, but the cartridge can accommodate heavy bullets designed for optimal subsonic performance and energy transfer. Typically, bullet weights between 10.4–14.6 g (160–225 gr) for supersonic loads and 18.5–22.7 g (285–350 gr) for subsonic loads.

4. What is 8.6 Blackout compared to?
The 8.6 Blackout is often likened to the 300 Blackout in terms of its design philosophy but caters to the AR-10 platform and utilizes a .338 caliber projectile.  You can compare it to a lot of different rifle rounds, like the .308, but there really isn’t much out there that is exactly comparable. It is a relatively new caliber with its own set of ballistics.

5. What is the best barrel length for 8.6 Blackout?
The optimal barrel length for the 8.6 Blackout depends on the intended use, but it often performs well in barrels designed for short to medium-range engagements, ensuring a balance of maneuverability and ballistic performance. The creator of the cartridge recommends a 12″ barrel.  But, if you want to shoot farther, it’s probably better to use a 16″ barrel.  Decide what your needs are before purchasing your components.

6. Does 8.6 Blackout use a 308 bolt?
Yes, the 8.6 Blackout is designed to be compatible with standard .308/7.62x51mm bolts, which simplifies the conversion process for those using existing AR-10 platforms. 8.6 BLK takes a standard 6.5 Creedmoor case, then necks it up to fit a . 338-diameter projectile. This means that it uses the same bolt face as existing . 308 and 6.5 CM firearms.

7. Is 8.6 Blackout AR-15 or AR-10?
The 8.6 Blackout is designed for the AR-10 platform, capitalizing on its larger frame to accommodate the cartridge’s size and capabilities. Keep in mind that you need a specific barrel designed for the 8.6 BLK Cartridge.

8. Is 8.6 Blackout 30 caliber?
No, the 8.6 Blackout utilizes a .338 caliber projectile, which is larger than the .30 caliber rounds.

9. Where can I shoot 8.6 Blackout?
You can shoot the 8.6 Blackout at any shooting range that accommodates rifle shooting, and in hunting areas where the cartridge and caliber are permitted by local regulations.

10. What Main Types of 8.6 Ammo Exist?
Currently, you can categorize 8.6 Blackout ammo into two main types – Supersonic and Subsonic.

Supersonics: These rounds exceed the speed of sound, traveling above 1125 fps at sea-level under standard conditions. The high velocity of 8.6 Blackout supersonic ammo makes it ideal for long-range shooting due to its flat trajectory and sustained energy at longer distances. Typically, supersonic bullets for this caliber weigh between 160-225 grains.

Subsonics: These bullets move below the sound barrier, usually under 1050 fps, varying with altitude and weather. Their slower speed, combined with heavier weights ranging from 270-350 grains, ensures they remain quiet when shot suppressed, eliminating the supersonic crack and providing efficient terminal performance.

While supersonic rounds are tailored for long-distance engagements and potent impact, subsonic rounds excel in stealth, best suited for medium-range targets and showcasing the sound-reducing prowess of a quality suppressor.

11. How do I find 8.6 Blackout Ballistic Data?
You can find 8.6 Blackout ballistic data from ammunition manufacturers, reloading manuals, and firearm forums or websites dedicated to the cartridge.

In the ever-evolving world of firearms and ammunition, the 8.6 Blackout stands out as a testament to innovation, catering to specific shooting needs with precision and power. As this FAQ illustrates, the cartridge, while relatively new, is quickly establishing its place in the ammunition landscape, answering the call for versatility and performance. The 8.6 Blackout is poised to continue its trajectory of popularity and influence. Whether you’re a seasoned shooter or just diving into the world of advanced cartridges, keeping an eye on the 8.6 Blackout’s journey promises to be both enlightening and rewarding. Happy shooting!

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